Posts tagged ‘Snake’

How does a rattlesnake rattle?

It’s easy to recognize a rattlesnake by the rattle at the end of its tail.  The rattle is a series of horny, cup-shaped rings that fit loosely into one another.  When a rattlesnake rattles, it is usually because it has become alarmed.

This makes it vibrate its tail rapidly.  The hollow rings strike together and make  a sharp buzzing sound.

By making its rattling noises, the rattlesnake is able to warn away bigger animals that might step on it or harm it.  Although a rattlesnake often gives a warning before it strikes it may also strike without rattling.–Dick Rogers

Do snakes shed their skin?

Snake

A snake sheds its skin several times a year.  When a snake grows, its skin does not grow with its body.  Instead, the snake grows a new skin underneath the old one.  Eventually, the old skin becomes too tight, and needs to come off.

The snake begins to shed its old skin by rubbing its nose on a rock or a tree trunk in order to loosen the skin around its mouth.  Then, by crawling through rocks and brush, the snake manages to wriggle headfirst out of the old skin.  The skin frequently comes off whole, turned inside out.  This process is called molting.–Dick Rogers

Why do snakes stick out their tongues?

Snake Tongue

The old belief that a snake stings with its tongue isn’t true.  The flickering tongue is actually a delicate sense organ that helps the snake to smell.  A snake’s tongue is long and forked at the end.  It darts through a small hole in the front of the snake’s mouth.

As the snake moves along the ground, its flickering tongue senses odors in the air.  The tongue relays the information to special organs in the mouth which are linked to the snake’s sense of smell.  By picking up the odors, the tongue helps the snake to locate food and sense the presence of enemies. – Dick Rogers

What is the largest snake in the world?

Perhaps the largest in the world is the giant anaconda, which lives in tropical South America.  It may grow to be nearly 30 feet long and weigh over 250 pounds.

This giant snake, also called a “water boa,”  lives in swamps and rivers.  It has olive-green skin, often with many black rings or spots.

Anaconda

The anaconda is not poisonous.  It kills small animals for food by constriction.  That is, it squeezes its prey to death by winding its powerful coils tightly around the victim.

It does not have to squeeze hard enough to break the victim’s bones, it squeezes just enough to stop the victim’s breathing.

The anaconda then swallows its prey whole, without chewing.  It can swallow animals much larger than its head because its jaw is hinged so it can be stretched far apart.

The anaconda does not need to eat very often.  It may take several days to digest a large meal. – Dick Rogers